Archive for Tuesday, October 29, 1991


October 29, 1991


Larry Havlicek, a Kansas University professor of educational psychology and research, died Monday from head injuries he suffered in a truck-bicycle accident in Lawrence. He was 59.

Mr. Havlicek was riding his bicycle north on Ousdahl Road when he collided with a Frito-Lay Inc. delivery truck westbound on 23rd Street about 10:14 a.m. Monday. Mr. Havlicek was not wearing a helmet. The delivery truck was driven by 24-year-old Jerald Berroth, St. Marys.

Havlicek was taken by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital after the accident. Officials there contacted a LifeSTAR emergency helicopter at 10:49 a.m. to transport him to St. Francis Hospital in Topeka for treatment of severe head and chest injuries. The helicopter arrived at 11:03 a.m., a LifeSTAR official said, but Mr. Havlicek was not transported.

Hospital officials said he was pronounced dead at 11:45 a.m. in the emergency room.

WITNESSES at the accident scene told Lawrence police officers they thought Havlicek had the right of way because the light had been green for traffic on Ousdahl.

Police officers reported that no citations have been issued. Once the police report is completed, it will be forwarded to the district attorney's office, where officials will decide if charges should be filed in the accident.

An expert on testing, Mr. Havlicek joined the KU faculty in 1967 as an associate professor and became a full professor in 1972. He taught a course in research methods this semester.

Mr. Havlicek's colleagues remembered him as a man of good humor who worked closely with his students.

"He was very effective in his working and advising students," said Nona Tollefson, chair of the department. "He was particularly effective with international students. He made them feel at home, he brought them to his home."

SHE ADDED that his travels to Europe, Central America and South America gave him a "great respect for a wide range of different cultures." In December, Mr. Havlicek participated in a education conference in Uruguay to assess and improve that nation's school system.

Tollefson said that Mr. Havlicek was interested in educational change and innovation. He recently authored a statistics book for chemistry.

"He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, the school of education and by the students," she said.

D.B. Tracy, an associate professor in the department, recalled that Mr. Havlicek was an effective instructor because he could lecture on complicated subjects in a manner that helped students.

"I think he had lots of knowledge in the areas of statistics and research, and I think he was able to present that to students in a non-threatening way," he said. "I think he had a good sense of humor, and I think he was a very humane person."

TRACY said he often saw Mr. Havlicek working with students before and after the usual office hours. Mr. Havlicek was noted for providing assistance with statistics to students working on their theses and dissertations.

A native of Crete, Neb., Mr. Havlicek was born April 5, 1932, and received three degrees from KU, according to the KU Office of University Relations. He earned a bachelor of music education in 1955, a master of music education in 1959 and a doctorate in education in 1965.

In 1974, he received a grant from the State Education Commission to fund the needs assessment program for Kansas schools, and in 1986, he toured South America, giving a series of lectures on computers and education.

Services are pending with Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

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